Goodwill Industries International’s new
president, CEO visits Goodwill Northern Illinois
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and Wisconsin Stateline Area (Goodwill Northern Illinois) was honored with a visit from the new Goodwill Industries International (GII) President and CEO Steven C. Preston recently. Preston, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and former Fortune 500 executive, officially took office as GII President and CEO in mid-January.
He is looking to expand the critical impact of Goodwill’s mission to provide employment and career advancement opportunities for people facing challenges, such as physical or developmental disabilities; people with a lack of work skills, a record of incarceration, or homelessness; and those transitioning from dependence on public assistance to self-sufficiency.
Preston, a native of Janesville, Wis., selected Goodwill Northern Illinois as one of his first stops as he visits many Goodwill organizations across North America in his first months on the job. His itinerary included a tour of Goodwill Northern Illinois’ warehouse, outlet store, ecommerce operations, a Rockford retail store and The Workforce Connection, Goodwill of Northern Illinois’ partner in operating Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) adult and youth grants.
“Too many people begin their days without the stability, dignity and purpose employment can provide,” said Preston. “Every day, local Goodwill organizations embedded in our communities advance our mission one person at a time. The Goodwill in Rockford is a shining example of that.”
“Goodwill Northern Illinois grew its number of people served by nearly 450 percent over the past five years to 24,560, providing counseling, credentialing, training and employment opportunities,” he continued. “The Goodwill has expanded its mission in part by growing the profits in its stores, which are used to fund its community programs.”
Goodwill Northern Illinois has seen significant growth in people served, sales, donations and partnerships over the last 10 years, which Preston and his staff viewed first hand. This work includes its valuable mission programs, such as its Let’s Go to Work and Supported Work programs, and revenue-generating operations such as its retail stores and ecommerce operations.
“We are extremely proud to have been selected for the visit,” said Ben Bernsten, president of Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois. “It not only speaks well of our organization, but also of Steve’s focus on building on GII’s successes and impact. His vast experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors will take our organization to an even higher level. We are excited for the journey ahead under Steve’s leadership.”
About Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois is a community-based not-for-profit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for individuals with barriers to enhance their lives. Goodwill funds job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in its 12 retail stores located in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. In 2018, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois served 24,560 people in the communities in which it resides. A three-year CARF accreditation — official recognition that the organization is guided by internationally recognized service standards and best practices — was awarded to Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois for its employment programs in 2018. Goodwill has stores in Northern Illinois (Rockford, Machesney Park, Freeport, Sterling, DeKalb, Ottawa, McHenry, Huntley, Crystal Lake, and Algonquin) and Beloit, Wis., and employs more than 550 people. Visit HYPERLINK “” \t “_blank” to learn more.

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